EATON TWP. — Avon Lake nipped Midview 45-42 Tuesday night in a non-conference thriller that was even in almost every statistical area.
The score was on the Avon Lake’s side, and the rebounds, turnovers and 3-point shooting were also very close.
But the Shoremen (5-13) made nearly half their field goal attempts and Brad Hamilton, their 6-foot-4 senior post, came away with the biggest rebound of the night. With under 10 seconds to play, Hamilton collared the Middies’ missed 3-point shot, and that sealed the victory.
Hamilton was fouled on the play and the fact that he missed the free throws that followed was meaningless to the outcome. And Hamilton finished with a game-high 13 points.
“You know when five guys box out — and all the guys did the job tonight — I was fortunate enough to get in at the end,” Hamilton said of his crucial rebound. “It was a physical game. They play a physical style and so do we. Again, I credit our guys for not backing down and playing through it.”
The game was close from start to finish.
The Middies (9-9) hit two early 3-point baskets and converted a three-point play to lead 9-3. But Avon Lake finished the quarter with a 6-2 rally and trailed 11-10. The Shoremen engineered a 9-0 run — five points by Hamilton — in the second period to lead 19-14, and held a 21-18 advantage at the break.
The Shoremen won the third quarter 15-14, but the Middies cut the deficit to
36-35 when junior guard Matt Randolph drained a 3-pointer with just over a minute gone in the fourth. It was their high-water mark.
They were still in striking distance 44-42 when sophomore forward Jacob Wells scored a putback with 34 seconds to play. But it was their final score. Luke Harris, Avon Lake’s junior guard, created the final score with a foul shot in the last 33 seconds.
“Tuesday night on the road, in a tough place to play against a team that has nine wins, we’ll take it,” Shoremen coach Eric Smith said. “It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. We told the guys last week that we were going to prepare for every game like it was a tournament game and do whatever we had to do to win.
“(Hamilton) was out and missed eight or nine games, whatever it was, and now we’re starting to play some good basketball. They don’t ask how you won, they ask how many. We didn’t shoot well from the free-throw line, but I give our guys credit. They went on the road and did what they needed to do to win.”
Midview coach Troy DiFranco was disappointed in his team’s unfortunate shooting in the fourth quarter — 3-of-15, an anemic 20 percent.
“We couldn’t hit our shots,” DiFranco said. “We had some open looks, but we couldn’t knock them down and we didn’t execute real well offensively. I thought we played hard defensively.”
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avon Lake 45, Midview 42
AVON LAKE (45): Quinn Cantleberry 1-0-2, Jason Hessel 3-1-8, Luke Harris 1-1-4, Christian Jones 2-0-6, Jace Russell 0-0-0, Seth Muck 4-2-10, Brad Hamilton 5-3-13, Matt Molina 1-0-2, Ben Oxley 0-0-0. Totals 17-7-45.
MIDVIEW (42): Kyle Warner 0-0-0, Matt Randolph 2-1-6, Jacob Wells 3-2-8, Vince Blevins 0-2-2, Logan Bolin 2-2-6, Daimion Mahaone 1-0-2, Grant Overy 4-0-10, Dimitri Redwood 0-1-1, Brett Zupancic 0-0-0, Jack Duffner 3-1-7. Totals 15-9-42.
Avon Lake 10 11 15 9 — 45
Midview 11 7 14 10 — 42
Three-point goals: Avon Lake 4-11 (Jones 2, Hessel, Harris); Midview 3-12 (Overy 2, Randolph). Field goals: Avon Lake 17-35 (48.6 percent); Midview 15-45 (33.3 percent). Free throws: Avon Lake 5-16; Midview 9-15. Rebounds: Avon Lake 25; Midview 27. Turnovers: Avon Lake 17; Midview 15. Fouled out: Mahone.
Junior varsity: Avon Lake, 46-32.